WINDS OF CHANGE: CHAPTER NINE

By Okolo Chinua 8 months ago

CHAPTER 9

Barely a day was left to the D-day. Okoro had contacted Dike and told him to assemble the youths to meet in his house at night. He had earlier planned to meet them next only on the D-day but he had a strange feeling that morning. He wondered why he felt that way. Not only had he had the youths monitor the council, he had also pleaded with Emeka to spy on them and inform him if anything went wrong. Still, he had a feeling that he was missing something but he couldn’t quite get his hands on it. Despite knowing the punishment that would befall them if they were caught before the coup, he still needed to meet them to be sure that all was still in place. Night came quickly and Okoro went behind his house to watch the moon. He was lost in his thoughts. ‘It was not right to still address them as youths. They were about to fearlessly undertake a dangerous mission so they should be called warriors’ he thought to himself. He was so into his thoughts that he did not notice when the warriors silently sneaked into his compound and stood behind him. Okoro was a man who was always aware of his surroundings and was not one to be easily taken by surprise yet he was oblivious of the fact that they now stood behind him. It was not until Dike called out to him that he realized that they were there. ”Nna anyi, we have come” said Dike from behind Okoro. Okoro was so shocked that he nearly jumped up. He did not believe that he did not notice their presence. He assumed that it must have been because he was too deep in his thoughts, however deep down, he knew that was false. The warriors had gotten smarter and better in just days and this really pleased him. It showed that in spite of the time factor and the inability to convene properly, they had individually trained themselves to ensure the successfulness of the coup.” Aha, it is you Dike, you nearly scared me. “Let’s go in” Okoro said as he led them quietly into his Obi. In his Obi, he offered them mats to sit on and sat with them on it, as it was not a proper meeting but one which had to be done without the knowledge of even his family, he had no time to waste on visiting cultures. He began immediately, in a low voice, so low that even if the rats in the room paused to listen, they would not make out a sound. “How have we been? Hope all is well. I apologize for moving up our meeting. I called you all today to finalize our plans for tomorrow. We cannot afford to fail. Dike, how have things been?” ”I have been communicating with them discreetly. I assigned Onu and Nzeogwu to watch the elder’s movements, Ihejika and Ajuna to the armoury, Ebuka and Chibuike to monitor the affairs in the village. I believe it wil bel better if they tell you how it has been themselves” Dike replied. Okoro nodded and looked towards the warriors. Nzeogwu was the first to speak, “I and Onu monitored the elders. They have been carrying out their duties as usual and nothing seems abnormal. However I noticed that your brother, Mazi Kosiso suddenly got closer to Amadi. We also saw Mazi Emeka speaking to Mazi Amadi and Elumelu. It was weird but it did not look like anything was off. Other than that, there has been nothing else. Our plan is still in motion.” ”You both have done well. Indeed I am aware of Emeka’s visit to the council yesterday. We both discussed it. He has been visiting there for some time now to make sure that our plan has not been leaked to the elders. Thank the gods it is still in play so there is no need to worry, let my brother’s issue too not bother you” Okoro said and adjusted his eyes to Ihejika who spoke next. “The armoury as it has always been is guarded well, however the guards seem to pay a laissez-fair attitude to their duty posts, perhaps, they believe we will not be courageous enough to pilfer anything from there because we are a conquered territory or maybe it’s just because their white skin cannot stand the heat of the sun” The warriors including Okoro bursted into laughter but kept their voices low. He continued, “However, we were able to pilfer ten dane guns, five explosives and several sharpened daggers. I must confess, we were quite embarrassed when we sneaked into the place. We expected the place to be filled with weapons we have never seen before but it contained few guns and other known weapons. However, do not be worried, the theft will not be noticed because we did it smartly. I just don’t know why they guard it since it is that way.” ”Probably to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands” suggested Ajuna. ”You are right, Ajuna. Few or many, if the people get their hands on it, they can challenge the white man’s authority. However, where did you keep the weapons and how were you able to make it out without being seen” asked Okoro. ”Well, we went in with a bag containing already cut weeds. We stashed the weapons in the bag and came out. The weeds did the job of hiding the guns. Then I sent Ihejika to inform Dike of our exploit. It was Dike who called the others to where we were and discreetly, we shared it among ourselves and hit it individually at specific points. Yours is in Dike’s possession” Ajuna replied. “I could not bring the guns with me as it was too risky, however I brought this with me” Dike said, producing two explosives and a dagger and laying them on the floor before Okoro. Okoro retrieved it and stashed it beneath the floor, in his private safe. “I do not think it would be advisable to make too much use of the guns. We would not want to draw attention. Use the daggers and other local weapons. We will only shoot when necessary and I mean, when necessary” he emphasized so that they understood what he really meant. “Well…” he continued, looking at Ebuka and Chibuike. Ebuka was the one who spoke, “Ours too was successful. None of the villagers are aware. The gossip on the lips of the women is the usual discord and hatred towards Elumelu and Amadi for oppressing them with the white man’s power. Everything is still in place” he concluded. Okoro nodded in satisfaction. “Well I am grateful for your efforts and good results. This has to be done for tomorrow’s betterment. We will proceed to the next stage. Listen, we cannot all march out together tomorrow. Although we will still meet here tomorrow night, I will like to tell everyone his role in earnest” he paused, took a look at everyone and continued. “After the feast, the elders will all be in the Central building, feasting. The white man will be coming tomorrow and I assume he will bring guests. Obimderedu, Ozoemena, Ngwu and Chibuike, it will be your duty to take care of the white man and his guests. He will likely retire to his bedchamber in his house so it should be too difficult. Take out the guards and end the white man and his guests once they leave for bed. I repeat, all his guests” they nodded in approval. He continued, ”Ihejika and Ajuna, you are already familiar with the armoury. It will be your duty to eliminate the guards there once the coup starts. They will be drunk and off guard so you have nothing to worry about.” They too nodded in approval. ”Onu, Nzeogwu and Ebuka, you will be the ones to enter the Central building. Eliminate all of them, I mean all of them.” There was pain in Okoro’s eyes and the warriors understood it. By ordering them to end all the elders, he had just signed the death warrant of his brother, Kosiso. It pained him but he had to be just. The boys were risking their lives and there was no time for emotions. He quickly swallowed up and continued, “Endeavour to silently kill the guards first, before approaching the elders. Do not speak to them, just end all of them. Amadi and Elumelu left early too for their homes last year. I have a feeling they might do the same this year. I and Dike will handle the two of them if they leave earlier than expected” he paused and looked at their faces. Apparently they were scared but hid it. He understood their reason for fear, after all, even the best hunter still feels fear whenever he steps into the jungle, how much more undertaking a mission that looked suicidal. He looked at all of them and reassured them, “it will be fine. We are going to succeed. Fate and the gods of our land are on our side so victory is ours. Do not be afraid. Does the hunter fear the hunted? The day after tomorrow, we shall all meet here and drink to our success so do not think of failure for we can never fail. Amadioha shall go before us and clear the path for us, for tomorrow, we restore our village to its glory!” ”Yes!!” The warriors replied quietly with beaming smiles and their hands raised in the air. They now bore the look of optimists who had no reason to be dismayed. They were now certain of victory and this pleased Okoro. He said a few more words to them and concluded, dismissing them. Okoro was pleased with fate, he was pleased with the gods as well as himself as he watched them disperse, disappearing into the night. He lay on his bed, contemplating on whether to advise his friend Emeka to leave the village for a day or not to come out that night. He did not want the victims to know that Emeka was involved or him getting hurt. ‘Well, that depends on what he says when I tell him of this plan tomorrow’ he thought to himself, smiling as he drifted off to sleep.

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